News from the Road

Stay up to date on our road trip!

By Sister Mary Beth Hamm, SSJ

October 4, 2014

On Saturday evening, the people of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Durham, NC warmly welcomed the Nuns on the Bus, first to Liturgy and then to their annual Multicultural Festival, which included an opportunity for Voter Registration. Commemorating the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, Father Chris Vanhaight, OFM and Deacon Gerardo Chavez presided at what was truly a celebration of the ethnic diversity of Immaculate Conception Parish.

Parishioners gathered in native garb – Indian, Filipino, Polish, Latino, African, to name only a few – and entered into a celebration that truly held some Pentecostal moments for me. One of those moments was praying the “Our Father.”

While the Liturgy was celebrated primarily in English...

By Sister Phyllis Tierney, SSJ

October 5, 2014

We were warned ahead of time that we would have a long day ahead of us on Sunday. We were in Raleigh and Greenville, and would arrive in Asheville later in the evening. What we experienced was high energy, southern hospitality, and the desire to make a difference. It permeated the two communities we visited.

The day began with a potluck breakfast at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church. We enjoyed good community and sharing time with members. Sister Simone invited conversation around the “buzz questions” introduced by each of us. Mine was “When did you first vote and whom did you vote for?” The highlight of the morning was our community worship celebration. Reverend Nancy Petty announced that it was World Communion Sunday. Pullen Baptist is...

By Sister Mary Beth Hamm SSJ

October 6, 2014

Following a spirited Press Conference at the YWCA of Asheville, we “walked the walk” of the message we have been proclaiming on the Nuns on the Bus tour and got out to encourage others to register to vote.  Collaborating with the Mountain People’s Assembly, a grassroots group that encourages voter rights, the Nuns on the Bus (Simone Campbell SSS, Phyllis Tierney SSJ, Margie Hosch OSF and Mary Beth Hamm SSJ) and many others descended on Aston Park Tower, a public housing residence, to assure that every resident has an opportunity to register to vote for the November election.

With my partner, Ruth, we canvassed the 4th floor where we knocked on doors, rang bells and distributed sample voting ballots, Absentee Ballot Applications, and Early Voting handouts.  We were...

By Sister Margie Hosch, OSF

October 6, 2014

The enthusiasm, dedication and commitment to lift people out of poverty permeated throughout our lunch discussion at Laurey’s.

The Laurey’s general manager lifted up the spirit of their founder, who recently passed away. Her goal was to bring food from the soil to the table. All workers at Laurey’s receive a living wage. The manager explained that many people in Asheville receive a minimum wage, which keeps people in poverty. Just economics is the goal, which is a long distance from being a reality.

Much effort by many people to bring people in poverty to vote is only the start. “Hope holds on” was the spirit of the sharing as the participants showed no signs of giving up or letting go.

Much support was given by the presence of Nuns on the Bus. This adventure down the “road...

By Sister Phyllis Tierney, SSJ

October 4, 2014

We had been “on the bus” for 10 minutes when we arrived at the government plaza in downtown Greensboro. I looked out and saw the faces of many friends. I had lived in Greensboro for ten years, 1995-2005. The crowd came to see Sister Simone and the Nuns on the Bus and hear our message, and we all received a great welcome!

We walked to the Civil Rights Museum where the famous “Greensboro Four” integrated the Woolworth’s lunch counter in 1960 and began a movement which rippled throughout the south.

Sister Simone was introduced by Alberta Hairston, current president of the NC Council of Churches. Alberta has history; she first attended Bennett College, an African American Women’s College in 1956. She went to Woolworth’s once and...

By Sister Margie Hosch, OSF

October 4, 2014

Atmosphere: electric, high energy

Thoughts shared which remain alive in me:

  • Join hands together
  • Create imagination
  • Bless us with enough foolishness to believe we can make a difference

  • Touch the truth of the pain in this world
  • If you buy our table it isn’t democracy
  • ...

By Sister Rose Ann Hefner, CSJ

October 3, 2014

After breakfast and morning prayer, we were off to visit some of the programming provided by the YWCA in Charleston, WV.

I can’t imagine having to live out of my car. Where would I shower; where would I find a bathroom; how would I eat? How do I keep warm or make a cup of soup? I can’t imagine how I would feel about using make-up to try to cover large bruises on my face. What will people think if they knew someone I cared about did this to me? How embarrassing!

And what if I am in one of these positions and blind too? These were bits of the stories shared with us in our visit the YWCA Shanklin Center for Senior Enrichment. The Shanklin Center provides permanent independent-living apartments for homeless, disabled women, and elder abuse...

By Sister Pat Murray, CSJ

October 3, 2014

Our afternoon stop was at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Charleston. After enjoying a wonderful meal from Bluegrass Kitchen, a local restaurant which serves dishes made from ingredients naturally grown/raised within West Virginia and the Appalachians we began greeting those gathering for the Town Hall Meeting. About 75 people gathered (a number who had travelled well over an hour) to participate in the forum. There was high energy in the room as people shared in small groups about their hopes and concerns for the future.

As the discussion hit the usual concerns of “big money” politics, polarization of parties, and “information silos,” a real life example of how easily well-intentioned conversations can lead to misunderstandings...

By Sister Loretta Spotila, CSA

October 2, 2014

The Nuns on the Bus stopped at the Community Inn in Lexington, KY Thursday morning. There we met with Fr. John Rausch, a Glenmary priest, leaders representing over 6 different unions, volunteers and others. In convening this Labor Forum, Sr. Simone Campbell, SSS asked the group what concerns they had about Kentucky’s working conditions and what could be done to resolve related problems.

Some concerns mentioned were the low minimum wage, the Kentucky Right to Work bill, wages without benefits, corporate exploitation of the worker and company greed, and lack of skilled trades people to fill jobs. Also mentioned were today’s declining connections among families and neighbors, and between company workers and executives.

Of interest to me was that almost everyone referred to these as...

By Sister Jean Ann Zappa, OSU

October 2, 2014

If you did not know about the important issue of raising the minimum wage before the rally in Lexington, KY, you would sure know how important it is after the rally.

When the “Nuns on the Bus” pulled into the Courthouse Square about 12:30 p.m. we were greeted by an enthusiastic crowd of about 200 supporters and at least 4 TV crews.

After Father John Rausch welcomed us and Rev. Esther Hurlburt prayed, Sister Simone gave some opening remarks. Councilwoman Attica Scott from Louisville and Mr. Bill Londrigan, president of the AFL-CIO, both spoke about the raising of the minimum wage to help folks gain a decent standard of living.  Raising the wage would also stimulate the economy, help make a demand on more goods and services,...